“A Rhesus Monkey Could Have Beaten Orly Taitz”

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The other quote you may see in reports of this incident is: “You should know that evidence is not stuff printed from the Internet.” That’s also pretty good, although technically stuff printed from the Internet could be evidence, assuming you could authenticate it and convince a judge it’s admissible. Most likely, though, the person hearing this from a judge (that’s who said it) has not bothered to follow the rules of evidence. Since the judge was saying it to Orly Taitz, you can be sure that’s what was going on.

As you may recall, I got sued not too long ago by Orly Taitz, although it would be more accurate to say that my name appeared on a piece of paper she said was a complaint and mailed to a bunch of people. That lasted a couple of weeks. See Orly Taitz Is Trying to Sue Me, I Think,” and “Orly Taitz Now 0-158,” Lowering the Bar (Oct. 1 & 18, 2012). Taitz, of course, is the notorious Moldovan-American lawyer-dentist who has led the crusade to prove that Barack Obama is not a “natural born citizen” and so cannot legally be president. Like most of the actual Crusades, this one involves a bunch of people milling around and doing a lot of damage but never getting any closer to a goal that was pretty stupid to begin with. As I mentioned later on, the birthers do not appear to have ever won even a single court ruling and have lost somewhere around 260 times (it’s a moving target).

Taitz added at least one to the number of losses in November, this time in an effort to force Occidental College in California to turn over Obama’s college records to her. She sued the college (among others), and served a subpoena demanding the records. According to The Occidental Weekly, the college’s general counsel contacted Taitz the day before a scheduled hearing, explained his view that the case was frivolous and asked her to withdraw it. In response, she claimed he was trying to intimidate her and also accused him of treason, apparently for daring to oppose her:

Your opposition will constitute Obstruction of Justice, Aiding and Abetting in the elections fraud in forgery and treason in allowing a foreign citizen to usurp the U.S. Presidency with an aid of forged IDs and usurp the civil rights of the U.S. citizens…. At any rate your opposition and your attempt of intimidation and your allegiance or lack of allegiance to the United States of America is duly noted.

(Also duly noted: her grammar is not so good.) If the email exchange she posted on her own website is accurate, there was nothing at all intimidating about his message.

Had she heeded it, she’d have saved four thousand dollars. That’s the amount that Judge Charles Marginis sanctioned her after finding her arguments frivolous and unsupported by evidence, although as noted it was supported by “stuff printed from the Internet.”

That brings us back to the title quote, which came from Jay Ritt, Occidental’s attorney. “I would like to take credit for a spectacular job preparing papers and going down to the Orange County Superior Court and arguing this case and getting sanctions,” he said in a podcast later, “but I honestly believe a rhesus monkey could have beaten Ms. Taitz and got a sanction award based on the awful lack of merit to the subpoena itself.”

rhesus on the phone

Sure we can talk, but remember this is costing you 300 bananas an hour


Could a rhesus monkey have beaten Orly Taitz? Well, yes and no. The rhesus is a highly intelligent animal (for a monkey) that is capable of complex vocal and non-vocal communication, but there is no evidence one has ever practiced law. Orly Taitz, on the other hand, somehow managed to pass the California Bar (although I haven’t actually seen her written answers, which makes me a little suspicious). So I think we have to concede that, all else being equal, a rhesus monkey could not beat Orly Taitz in a legal battle.

On the other hand, all else was not equal in this case. Sometimes the law and facts weigh against one side to the extent that even the best possible lawyer for that side couldn’t win, and if that’s true, it follows that the worst possible lawyer for the other side couldn’t lose. If Taitz’s arguments were anything like the ones she usually makes, they had no chance of winning (they never have), and so in that sense it is probably true that Occidental could literally have rented a rhesus monkey to appear for it in court and still prevailed. That would not really be a case of the monkey defeating Taitz, though, just another case of her defeating herself.

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the monkeys, because I’m pretty sure their billing rates are a lot lower than mine.